Do you admire or learn anything from your acquaintances or you do not want to know?, Then you need to listen to a 56- year-old Mr. Abel Atuheire from Nyongozi, Ntungamo District whose love for pineapple farming was inspired by his neighbors.
Mr. Abel who worked as a banker for 29 years in Uganda Chamber of Commerce and Stanbic Bank retired on 24th September 2017 and decided to process for his NSSF savings, at the time he could not qualify for benefits he opted for withdrawal benefits.
After receiving his benefits, Mr. Abel had too many business ideas but he decided to invest in the pineapple, after a long period of consultations from the neighbors who had vast experience in pineapple farming.
In order for him to be able to do close supervision of the pineapple plantation, Mr. Abel decided to erect a residential house in Nyongozi village using part of his NSSF benefit.
As someone who had a strong back ground on economics, he clearly understood the importance of value addition, therefore he decided to go an extra mile of making juice out of his pineapples unlike his neighbors who just sell pineapples immediately after harvesting.
“My Intention is not to sell to a local vendor because the prices are much lower when I sell from the farm, so that’s why I decided to invest in juice making,” Mr. Abel said
Abel is now determined to move to different demonstrations farms interacting with experienced pine apple farmers to fully understand how best he could skillfully utilize his little land to growquantitywith aquality that is acceptable on the international market.
Currently Abel is still in the initial stages of production and most of the pineapples are still young but his projection returns are Ugx 2.5M per month base
Ntungamo being a hilly area, Mr. Abel like many of the farmers still suffer a challenge of poor means of transport from the plantations to the main roads. Petty thieves and monkeys are other minor challenges faced by pineapple growers especially during the harvesting season.
Mr. Abel a former Bank employee now employs over 20 laborers on his plantation, he is very excited because he has been able to directly impact on the welfare of members in the community. Ready market has also been one of Abel’s benefits in the pineapple business and lastly the income from the pineapple plantation has been used to finalise the residential house.
Abel’s future plan is to establish a pineapple industry in Ntungamo and improve on the process of value addition and exporting manufactured pineapple juice for better prices.
Mr. Abelapplauded NSSF for liberalising the saving sector thus allowing in people who are in the informal Sector to save with the fund on a monthly basis. Hechallenged all those that have not yet started saving with NSSF to immediately open up a saving account with Find especially in the informal sector under the NSSF voluntary savings scheme.
To vote for Mr. Abel Atuheire in the NSSF Friends with Benefits competition, dial *254# or go to www.nssfug.org.